aliisaacstoryteller
Inside the Cave of Cats.

Gifts from the ‘Hell-Mouth of Ireland’ #Samhain

Today I met up with Treasa and a bunch of lovely ladies for a visit to Cruachan and Oweynagat. To say I was nervous is a bit of an understatement; not because I was meeting up with a… Read More

Mound of hostages, black and white images, people standing on top of it.

Planning Your Visit to Ireland? 4 Strange & Spooky Ancient Sites Associated with #SAMHAIN

The old festivals seem to me to fit perfectly into the cycle of seasons and the passing of the year. And also with the ebb and flow of my blood, or the beating of my heart, or my body clock, whatever you want to call that natural instinctual internal part of oneself. You may try and suppress it, but it’s always still there. If you feel the same, here are some places in Ireland that are associated with Samhain which you might like to visit: Tlachtga, the Mound of Hostages at Tara; Magh Slecht, and Oweynagat.

The ancient oak planks of the great Corlea Trackway.

Planning Your Visit to Ireland? Trek Along the Iron-Age Trackway at Corlea

I love bogs. Not only do they provide us with sweet-smelling turf for burning over the winter, which keeps us so warm and cosy and drowsy, but they hide extraordinary secrets which they allow us to find, now… Read More

Curadmír | The Champion’s Portion

Curadmír comes from the old Irish word curad which means ‘of a hero/ champion/ warrior’, and also from the word mir which means ‘morsel/ ration/ portion’.

In Irish mythology, the champion’s portion was all about honour amongst warriors. We already know that in ancient Ireland people lived by a defined code of honour and this was certainly true of the warrior class.

6 Founding Principles of Ancient Irish Society

I‘ve long felt that our ancient Irish ancestors were far more advanced and civilised than we give them credit for. Not simply because of the amazing engineering which went onto the construction of the stone structures they left… Read More

Warrior Women of Ireland

Irish mythology is riddled with powerful women, yet they are quite an enigma. On the one hand, we have feisty Queens like Medb,and fearsome Goddesses like the Morrigan. On the other, we have the helpless heroines such as Etain, Deirdre, and Grainne, who seemingly did little but lure men with their beauty into tragedy and catastrophe. But ancient Ireland also had its fair share of warrior women, and some of them were quite kickass!

Cattle Raids and the Mysterious Giant Bull

I am afraid of cows. This is because I was once chased by a stampeding herd of cows who took an instant dislike to the (very small) dog I was walking at the time, even though she was… Read More

Where Do You Go To See The Book of Kells?

Answer: Not Kells! Sadly, you have to go all the way to Dublin to see this famous manuscript, which now resides in the library at Trinity College. The famous Book Of Kells is an illuminated manuscript of the four… Read More

Imbas Forosnai | Poetic Inspiration of the Irish Filidh

This act of looking into the future and chanting or reciting prophecy in the form of poetry is called Imbas Forosnai (imbas meaning ‘inspiration’, in particular the sacred poetic inspiration of the ancient Filidh, and forosnai meaning ‘illuminating’ or ‘that which illuminates’).

Geis | The Curse in Irish Mythology

Irish mythology is awash with geisa, almost every hero being afflicted by at least one, if not more. At first glance, they seem little more than a sprinkling of magical spice to add a little extra drama to a story: if the hero violates his geis, he suffers dishonour and maybe even death.

However, a closer look yields a slightly different concept behind the use of the geis in Irish myth and legend.